Laughing until your belly aches

This year in June I was lucky enough to have dinner at restaurant Casparus in Stellenbosch. If you google it, you’ll find out it has legendary chefs and the most excellent reviews. Indeed the food was absolutely delicious. Our company of four decided we would switch over the plates clockwise, so we would all get a taste of each of the four different choices we had made. Probably not the idea of such chique restaurant, but we definitely enjoyed it.


The other thing I did that evening was laugh, laugh until my belly ached. The wine helped. Quite easy of course if you’re not really a good drinker. But, to laugh until you almost feel you will pee your pants requires not only good wine, and excellent company, but somebody that can tell you an extremely good anecdote with suspense, humour, care and with conviction that all you can do is listen and wonder what it will end like. I can’t repeat the anecdote here, as on paper it simply doesn’t work. It requires the finesse of a storyteller. Moreover it was told to me in Afrikaans. The language derived from Dutch, which I’ll admit for a long time I considered like a ‘children’s version’ of my own native brew. My opinion has changed on that and next time I’ll find myself in South Africa, I’ll definitely work harder on mastering it.


Also, because the person who told the anecdote consistently spoke Afrikaans to me. He really liked the Afrikaans – Dutch exchange. I learned a lot when talking to him, but most of all that evening, I laughed until my belly ached, which is something I don’t do enough. I take life often too serious, but that night life was flowing with laughter ending with his brother-and-law and wife teaching us how to open up our feelings even more by tapping a rhythm on the table and singing – as part of music therapy methodology. Remember we were still at the ‘classy’ restaurant, which probably made it even more fun.


I didn’t really know the person who told me the anecdote on a personal level, but I know his family and friends have celebrated his life this week after a battle that he unfortunately couldn’t win. And I would just like to thank you, Jurie for telling me that anecdote and teaching me to love Afrikaans. But most of all I’ll have to remember to laugh, laugh until my belly aches, more often, simply because life is worth celebrating, just like you probably liked to do.

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